Greetings. We are well into winter now, and it was unusually cold through most of the nation even before winter officially began. In the north, we typically refer to this time of the year as the dog days of winter. Pretty much grey, cold and gloomy; but on the bright side, it is good for business. I don't know about your company, but our company decided a long time ago to not participate in the recession. So far, it has been a good strategy and one that many of our customers also quickly endorsed. At the suggestion of one of our wholesaler members, HARDI has produced a banner with “(Your company name) has decided to not participate in the recession.” The banners are suitable to hang over your counter or in your lobby, and I believe they send a strong message about the wholesaler distributor's firm leadership position in the channel. Proceeds from the sale of the banners go to the HARDI Foundation and the Albuquerque Defense Fund, both of which work for the betterment and enhancement of the value of wholesale distribution.
These dog days are also a great time to start planning to attend any of the outstanding spring and summer HARDI events. This year will be even more relevant as they provide valuable educational opportunities and the opportunity to visit with fellow wholesalers to share best practices and successes in the current economic environment. It's very difficult to duplicate the value/cost proposition of these meetings. A schedule of the upcoming meetings is listed on page 10. Be sure to mark them on your calendar. More details will be forthcoming in your e-mail and this magazine.
Two upcoming events require special mention. The 2nd Congressional Fly-In will be held in Washington, DC, on April 29-30. Again this year, we will be combining our efforts with PHCC, ACCA and ASA to attain even greater industry leverage to take our message to Congress. As you know, there are many new faces in Washington this year, and it is extremely important they know about the HVACR industry, its issues and concerns, and the contributions we all make to a strong economy. We will again provide training for the Hill visits as well as transportation from our staging point at the Marriott Key Bridge, Arlington, VA.
The other great event will be the HARDI Midyear Business Conference at the outstanding Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel in Ottawa, Canada. It's been many years since we hosted a meeting at this beautiful location with its setting in the center of Ottawa and adjacent to Parliament.
The summer conference is a busy and very important meeting for HARDI. It will kick off with a one-day educational session presented by Pete Land, followed by committee and council meetings dealing with the abundance of industry issues and the critical planning process necessary to ensure the continuation of our world-class annual conference. In spite of the work- load, there will be ample time to network and enjoy the surroundings. I'd recommend visiting the www.fairmonthotels.com/laurier website. You'll see it is a great vacation venue, if you've not been there before.
I believe this is going to be an important year for our businesses and the HVACR industry. We will all need to keep well informed on business conditions, best practices and government legislation and regulations. The most cost-effective and genuine way to do so is through personal relationships derived from your association.